Where do you look?
Posted 09 May 2003 - 09:53 AM
Posted 09 May 2003 - 10:36 AM
Posted 09 May 2003 - 12:05 PM
One friend used to complain about certain dancers' facial expressions, insisting that the face was the dancers' most important feature. My argument was that a dancer spends ten years training the body to be an expressive instrument (one hopes that expression is part of the mix, anyway), and most people are seated too far away to see much more than whether or not the performer is smiling.
Some great dancers have the ability to direct your attention to the features they wish to display. Years ago, an international ballerina, working in less than perfect condition and enduring the disruption of a last-minute substitute partner, had me mesmerized by her supple pointe work, as she seemed to know that other aspects of her dancing -- at least for that performance -- were not up to her usual standard.
Posted 09 May 2003 - 12:09 PM
Posted 09 May 2003 - 12:24 PM
Posted 09 May 2003 - 01:18 PM
Posted 12 May 2003 - 08:15 PM
It's often very difficult for me to chose where I will focus my attention during a ballet. I tend to focus on one dancer at a time and analyze her technique, rather than concentrating on the ensemble as a whole. This means that I tend to miss out on the general pattern of the choreography. I ocassionally remind myself to enjoy the entire "forest" and then zero in on the mushrooms at other times. It definitely helps to see a ballet several times, so you can devote your attention to all the different components of the ballet.
Posted 13 May 2003 - 04:40 AM
It's this aspect of dance that makes it so subjective to the viewer. Two people could see the same dance but be looking at completely different dancers and see completely different things.
As a dancer, you must assume that SOMEONE out there sees just about everything you do.
Posted 13 May 2003 - 04:49 AM
Posted 17 May 2003 - 11:48 AM
I want that dancer to make me feel what she or he is feeling, don't give me Odette without emotion, I want to cry. Don't give me Auroura deadpan, I want to feel her youth and joy. And that Cowboy -- he'd better have a Texan attitude.
Posted 17 May 2003 - 06:06 PM
As a dancer, I don't usually think about where the audience is looking. However, I often remember my teacher saying that if one has beautiful carriage of the upper body, then the audience won't even look at the feet. But if the upper body is boring, then their attention is directed towards the feet.
But there are also people who look at the feet first, so you can't really win;) I agree with citibob, dancers must always prepare for the "worst"- that someone can see everything you do, because there really isn't anywhere to hide when you're on stage!
Posted 18 May 2003 - 01:47 AM
I like Paquita's point about different needs for different choreographers. For example, I have quite a limited experience of different ballets (I have seen the classics mainly and expect all of the above,) but when I saw Manon last week I was totally all over the place in terms of what I was trying to look at. I started trying to watch the feet, but it wasn't the right thing to do, I tried watching the big picture, but I missed details, and I wasn't quite close enough to decide whether the emotions were good because I felt a bit too far away!
The only scenes I liked were the ones in Manon's bedroom because then there were only two people on stage and it was easier to see what was happening and there was no 'clutter' to distract the dancers from their work!
I must sound like a philistine! It must be important to get the experience so you know where to look.
Posted 19 May 2003 - 04:49 PM
I think as a non dancer, I tend not to dwell upon the feet because unless they're blatantly bad, I might not notice.
Generally, it's the big picture that I look at with a number of asides to focus in on the lead dancers and I always do like to check out the corps dancers as well. I admit, I do like to see all of dancer's faces and I do notice and look for their overall line.
And I'm with a number of other posters about "feeling" their emotion where appropriate...
On another thread, "Teasing Apart the Artisitic Elements", I have admitted to my rather basic desire to be immersed in the performance.
Posted 01 June 2003 - 11:04 AM
As an aside to this thread... how about where you sit to watch a ballet? Do you prefer the orch or balcony? I find if it is a story ballet I like the balcony to see the depth of the work. If it is other ballets I like to be in the orchestra seating.
One time I was able to see the same ballet from both perspectives on two separate nights. I was surprised to note how much I enjoyed the night where I was on an even level with the stage as opposed to seeing it from above!
Posted 01 June 2003 - 12:40 PM
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